Roster moves

DMZ · November 22, 2005 at 9:18 am · Filed Under Mariners 

With Jojima’s signing, the M’s are at 41 on the 40-man roster.

Likely candidates for subtraction include Cha Seung Baek and Ryan Franklin (please please please), though Torrealba may still be traded for someone who doesn’t have to be protected from the upcoming Rule 5 draft (and again, it’s Rule 5. Anywhere you see Rule V, you can be assured the writer or whoever edited the piece doesn’t know what they’re talking about).


150 Responses to “Roster moves”

  1. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 3:56 pm

    If a deal for Yorvit doesn’t happen, I think he’ll make a great part of a quality bench. Assuming the organization has any idea how to craft one.

  2. Cool Papa Bell on November 22nd, 2005 3:58 pm

    “To my knowledge the owners have not taken any money back out of the company, of which HL and Armstrong have been very vocal about. What this results in is a very healthy little war chest of cash the company has been building up.

    When you want to think about that “special account” that the M’s used to pay Ichiro’s posting fee from… wasn’t any “special account”, it was/is mearly the team spending cash from their little war chest they continue to accumulate.

    Now just because they have this nice war chest built up doesn’t mean they are going to go blow it all at once…….like prudent businessmen the M’s management will continue to manage to a budget, however from time to time, when they feel a transaction is right….they will dip into their war chest of cash and utilize those excess funds that have been built up over the past few years. Now they may call it something different when they spend it, but in reality, its just excess cash that has been built up from their profitable operations over the past 3-5 years.”

    Frozenropers, that is exactly what I have been trying to get at. The Mariner’s reluctance to stretch the budget and get big name players isn’t simply an issue of greed. They are also afraid of getting burned by massive contracts, and that is actually a pretty reasonable fear. As Dave demonstrated a while ago, most of the long term contracts handed out over the last few years are bigger burdens than blessings. However, when they see a star caliber player they think is both a good fit for the team and a good risk, they will pursue him aggressively. They will offer as much money as they think that player is worth, and maybe a bit more. If they don’t walk away with that player, it’s because the price became unreasonable or he didn’t want to play for the M’s, not because they were too cheap.

    So the question we should be asking about whether the M’s will pursue and sign a top tier free agent is not “Will Johjima’s salary count against payroll” or “How much money is left in the budget?” but “Do the Mariners think Burnett/Millwood/Giles is a good risk?” If the answer to the latter question is “Yes”, then we can be confident that Bavasi will be a very serious bidder, regardless of whether we had signed Johjima or not.

  3. gabo on November 22nd, 2005 4:02 pm

    88. Does anybody know if Nomah is considering a move to LF? or is it simply speculation at this point? If he’s willing to make the move and could be had for an incentive laden contract with optional years I think that’d be a STEAL to platoon Raul and Nomah in LF and have Nomah fill in for Junebug from time to time…

  4. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 4:05 pm

    Raul Ibanez has no place in left field on a baseball team that aspires to. Not even for one inning.

  5. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 4:05 pm

    aspires to win

  6. Cool Papa Bell on November 22nd, 2005 4:08 pm

    “No. Lying then makes no sense, as it just creates an expectation that the M’s are able to go after high-priced internationals. If they aren’t actually able to do that, then their failure will create disappointment among the fans because the fans have been told otherwise.”

    This point is moot, since the M’s made the claim and no acrimony resulted. Anyway, as Derek has demonstrated over the years, the Mariner brass has consistently lied about its finances, including claiming that it makes its budgets based on conservative estimates of attendance. Could such a claim create pressure to increase payroll when the attendance went through the roof? Absolutely, but Howard Lincoln never carried through so he clearly is willing to tell lies that potentially would raise expectations. This is no different.

  7. Evan on November 22nd, 2005 4:13 pm

    We have yet to see the M’s fail to pursue a desirable international. We haven’t tested it yet.

  8. Cool Papa Bell on November 22nd, 2005 4:22 pm

    Did the Mariners aggressively pursue Kazuo Matsui? Not that I’m aware of. Was there any significant anger from casual fans that the M’s didn’t dip into their “foriegner account” to get him? No, there wasn’t. I’m sure most fans are ignorant of the accounting gimmick used to justify the contract offered to Jose Contreras. If it weren’t for serious blogs like this one that parse everything that is said by the M’s front office, I doubt the myth would be perpetuated. Note: that isn’t meant as a attack against the authors of this site, but rather a reminder that the people who read this site are far more knowledgeable about what the team does and says than the average Mariner fan.

  9. Smegmalicious on November 22nd, 2005 4:30 pm

    Nor does he have a place hitting in the 3 hole on a team which aspires to win, but he hit there for the bulk of last year. What does that tell us?

  10. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 4:40 pm

    #109: I don’t agree. He did a fine job at the plate. I don’t think he’s an ideal #3, but I certainly think he doesn’t hurt the M’s in that role. Maybe even helps them.

  11. Smegmalicious on November 22nd, 2005 4:54 pm

    Jim, you can’t honestly take Ibanez seriously as a #3 hitter, can you? I know he’s a good guy and a good ballplayer and he makes the team better, but the 3 hole is your best hitter. Think about that for a second. Raul Ibanez is hitting in the spot reserved (however informally) for the team’s best hitter. I’m perfectly fine, even excited, about him hitting 5 or 6, but not 3. If we can’t do better in the heart of the order than Raul Ibanez we have trouble.

    Ideally last year Beltre would have been in the 3 spot, followed by Sexson and then Ibanez. Hopefully this year that’s how things will be just that way with Beltre bouncing back. I’d even hope we get a better hitter than Ibanez to hit 5 and bump him to 6. I think that would be ideal.

  12. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 5:08 pm

    Ideal, yes. But who lives in an ideal world?

  13. Smegmalicious on November 22nd, 2005 5:19 pm

    Obviously not the Mariners. I stand by the assesment that if Raul Ibanz is our #3 hitter next year we’re kinda fucked.

  14. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 5:23 pm

    I guess I would ask, then:

    — As things stand now, who’s a better #3 option?
    — What realistic trade or signing could be made to create a better #3 option?

  15. DMZ on November 22nd, 2005 5:28 pm

    Did the Mariners aggressively pursue Kazuo Matsui? Not that I’m aware of.

    Okay, this is just ridiculous.

    Go punch “Mariners Kazuo Matsui” into Google and you’ll find a whole bunch of results on their quite serious pursuit.

    Please, folks, be willing to do 5s of research before writing a 1m comment. It’s not that hard.

  16. Deanna on November 22nd, 2005 5:28 pm

    104 – Better Ibanez than Mike Morse, that’s for sure.

  17. Smegmalicious on November 22nd, 2005 5:30 pm

    I say Beltre is (or definately will be) a better option as a 3 hitter. Failing that, there isn’t one and we’re in trouble

    As for a realistic trade…I don’t know. I really only follow the Mariners intensly so I’m not really up to date on what’s out there. I don’t think we will be able to get someone better than him unless we somehow magically get that ‘left handed sock’ and I’m not sure how likely that is.

    As it stands I think the best scenario is Beltre-Sexson-Ibanez 3-4-5.

  18. Paul B on November 22nd, 2005 5:38 pm

    Ibanez is not at fault for the Mariners’ poor play.

    He’s not an all star, but he has real value.

    There’s lots of other sinkholes in the lineup and rotation that are bigger problems.

    As for Yorvit, my guess would be that he’ll be traded for a pitcher with “upside” but who is a big gamble.

  19. Smegmalicious on November 22nd, 2005 5:47 pm

    Paul, it that’s precicely my point.

  20. Cool Papa Bell on November 22nd, 2005 6:01 pm

    “Go punch “Mariners Kazuo Matsui” into Google and you’ll find a whole bunch of results on their quite serious pursuit.”

    No, you won’t. Doing that or using other combinations of words just turns up a bunch links to information on Matsui and/or his availability at the time he posted. None of them describe what the M’s were doing to try to sign him.

  21. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 6:07 pm

    #120. Try it on the Seattle Times site, on their Archive link. Or the P-I’s site.

  22. PaulMarrottWeaver on November 22nd, 2005 6:12 pm

    Don’t know who the #3 is. If the line-up was stacked with hitters of Ibanez calibre from 1-9, we’d produce about 800 runs. Everyone wants an awesome number 3 guy, but if your line up is all around good from top to bottom, I don’t think it really changes how great your offense will be.
    That said, hopefully Beltre returns to roughly MVP form.

    Back to topic: clearing spots on the 40-man roster. When I look at the Mariner’s line-up, I see pour old Morse sitting there without a real position. He seems to be the odd man out. Package him with somebody for a good trade? Good offense, not as bad defense as was imagined,……a little baggage……package him with home run baek and there’s decent trade value.

  23. Mr. Egaas on November 22nd, 2005 6:13 pm

    Both the 2 and 3 holes are pretty much questionmarks for us.

    Ibanez got on at a .355 OBP clip last year. That’s pretty solid.

    After the first inning, batting order doesn’t really matter an awful lot. Why not go Ichiro-Ibanez-Beltre-Sexson 1-2-3-4? It gets these guys the maximum at-bats they can get in a game, and turn-over from the bottom to the top is lessened, less rally killers. The only problem with this setup is it goes L-L-R-R. Typically, you’d like to stagger righties and lefties to create late inning problems for opposing bullpens.

    Reed’s inability to hit lefties and OBP of .322 didn’t quite cut it in the 2 hole when he was in there, and there’s not another prototypical 2 man on our roster.

    If Jacque Jones is signed, I don’t necessarily like him hitting 2nd either, but I assume it’s where he falls. He’s got a relatively low (career .327) OBP, although his speed is nice at that spot.

    If Johjima adjusts well, and I’m told he’s a good athlete that can run a little, I wouldn’t mind see him hit 2 hole. If he’s a smart baserunner, I don’t see a problem with a catcher hitting high in the order (ala Jason Kendall, Pudge Rodriguez).

    I think the St. Louis Cardinals had Larry Walker hitting 2nd most of the year last year. He’s not the fleetest of foot, but he gets on base and is a smart baserunner.

  24. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 6:23 pm

    The problem with most of these trade ideas is that everybody we get rid of is a throw-in piece of a package … but who would we trade as the major part of any deal?

    Sexson? Nope.
    Beltre? Nope.
    Reed? No, and not much trade value.
    Ichiro? Fuhgeddaboudit.
    Pineiro? Low value.
    Guardado: No longer.
    Felix? Heresy.
    Ibanez? Moderate value, I suppose, but is there a market?

    The problem with trades is that a) we don’t have much of value to trade; and b) the players who DO have value don’t really need to be traded.

  25. Smegmalicious on November 22nd, 2005 6:24 pm

    I wonder how well Johjima can run after playing every inning of every game that one year.

  26. Joey on November 22nd, 2005 6:28 pm

    I’d trade Torrealba for a whole year guaranteed free lemonade and snow cones with an option for the second year…and a bonus of garlic fries

  27. Joey on November 22nd, 2005 6:28 pm

    Man those are so good

  28. eponymous coward on November 22nd, 2005 6:32 pm

    Reed’s inability to hit lefties and OBP of .322 didn’t quite cut it in the 2 hole when he was in there, and there’s not another prototypical 2 man on our roster.

    Of course, the odds of a 25 year old who hit over .300 in the minors improving after his rookie season of .254 is infinitesimal…

  29. Cool Papa Bell on November 22nd, 2005 6:43 pm

    “Try it on the Seattle Times site, on their Archive link. Or the P-I’s site.”

    Good idea. They both had a lot more relevant information. Both of them suggested that the M’s were interested in Kaz, but it isn’t clear that that interest was really strong or that the M’s pursued him aggressively. There isn’t any mention of what kind of contract the team offered him, so I don’t know what evidence there is of a “quite serious pursuit”.

  30. Trent on November 22nd, 2005 6:43 pm

    Never noticed it before, but does anyone else find Smegmalicious’ name disturbing?

  31. Mr. Egaas on November 22nd, 2005 6:47 pm

    128 – I’d like to see Reed do well as much as anybody, but I’m saying he can’t be relied on for 150+ games in the 2 hole until he shows something.

  32. DMZ on November 22nd, 2005 7:02 pm

    No, you won’t. Doing that or using other combinations of words just turns up a bunch links to information on Matsui and/or his availability at the time he posted. None of them describe what the M’s were doing to try to sign him.

    I guess Google’s broken just for you, as I found a whole bunch of stuff on how the M’s were one of the teams after him.

  33. Cool Papa Bell on November 22nd, 2005 7:10 pm

    I know the M’s were “one of the teams after him”. Every top free agent has a bunch of teams considered to be “interested” in him. That doesn’t mean that all of them are aggressively trying to get him to sign.

  34. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 7:44 pm

    Okay, now we’re noty just splitting hairs, we’re splitting the molecular matter from which hairs are formed ….

  35. Rusty on November 22nd, 2005 8:38 pm

    Trying not to stray too far from topic… assuming we honor Yorvit’s request and successfully trade him, I’d be up for taking a flier on Devil Ray Pete Laforest who was just dfa’d. Let Corky Miller and Pete (a left handed bat with some power in the minors) battle it out for backup catcher and keep Rene down on the farm.

  36. roger tang on November 22nd, 2005 8:38 pm

    I know the M’s were “one of the teams after him”. Every top free agent has a bunch of teams considered to be “interested” in him. That doesn’t mean that all of them are aggressively trying to get him to sign.

    Or that Matsui was interested in the Ms. Gotta be two ways, y’know….

    As far as our flotsam’s concerned…think it’s more realistic just to jettison them. Don’t think we’ll get anything of value for ’em….

  37. Jeff Nye on November 22nd, 2005 9:46 pm

    Where in the order do we think Johjima’s likely to hit?

    Or is it too early to make a guess at that yet?

  38. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 9:59 pm

    Boy, we really have to get over our conditioned hangups about batting order. Whoever said it earlier was right … order matters for one inning. After that, all you want are players who can a) get on base; and b) advance baserunners. Which, hopefully, you want to begin with.

  39. Jeff Nye on November 22nd, 2005 10:03 pm

    I wouldn’t call it a ‘hangup’, really, at least on my part; I think this is the first time I’ve ever asked about the batting order. 🙂

    Over time, batters higher in the order are likely to get up to the plate more times, is all. Over the course of a season, this becomes a significant difference.

  40. Pat K on November 22nd, 2005 10:08 pm

    Regarding the reaction to Bavasi’s comments about possibly trading Yorvit because he deserves to be an everyday catcher, it seems bvious that the Mariners will get more in return for trading an everyday catcher than they’d get for a back-up. Anyone who any experience in commerce knows that you always want to make your trading pieces look at valuable as possible to your potential trading partners, in the hopes that you’ll persuade them to part with something valuable. The Mariners have precious few trading pieces, so it should be no surprise to find Bavasi talking up the value of Yorvit, who is certainly expendible Yorvit plainly would have value to the Mariners as a quality, low-cost back-up, and I think we should assume Bavasi won’t give that up until some other team is willing to give us something in return that we value more highly (and God knows we have other needs as well). I think we should relax about what we read, and assume the statements Bavasi is making about Yorvit are the ideas he wants floating around in the marketplace, not necesssarily what he really thinks.

  41. Jim Thomsen on November 22nd, 2005 10:15 pm

    Sorry, Jeff, the comment wasn’t aimed at you as much as at the cumulative posts on this subject. If people stop and think about it, a #6 batter is just as likely to lead off any of innings 2-9 as a #8 or #9 or #4 or #5. You’ll have one or two innings a game where your #9 guy is batting cleanup. It’s all random variation. What matters more is who bats in front of and behind who, and even then there are about 90 other things I’d want to worry about first.

  42. Commander Bill Adama on November 22nd, 2005 11:16 pm

    Jake said:

    Our new catcher is still Aunt Jojima. Hopefully he’ll waffle quite a few homeruns.

    Evan, you laughed at this?

    I guess I’ll sound snooty then and play “Pronounciation Police”:

    Chimima = “Chih-MY-mah”.

    Johjima = “Joe-JEE-mah”.

    Ridiculously not close.

  43. LB on November 22nd, 2005 11:18 pm

    Here’s a story about a guy who could bat #3 and play LF:

    Manny Ramirez’ fondest wish – currently – is to play for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or the Seattle Mariners. … It is not known why Ramirez is fond of Seattle, but familiarity with manager Mike Hargrove, who managed Ramirez in Cleveland, is likely a factor.

    Alas, his is a right-handed sock. Still, I’d think it would be worth it for the M’s to accommodate Manny if only to keep him out of an Angels uniform. A package of Sexson and Felix would probably get the trade done. (Kidding! Kidding!)

  44. Southpaw on November 22nd, 2005 11:38 pm

    Just say no to Manny for over 10M a year.

  45. chris w on November 22nd, 2005 11:57 pm

    For anyone still paying attention to the debate over what you get if you Google Kaz Matsui and the Ms’ hot pursuit of him when he came over to MLB, I got this as my first hit: Seattle PI Article, with the Headline, “M’s target star in Japan”… Funny.

  46. Jim Thomsen on November 23rd, 2005 12:29 am

    Latest M’s departure: Allen Turner

  47. Bela Txadux on November 23rd, 2005 2:11 am

    Johjima is the best transliteration when you think about it, considering the options Evan breaks down in #5. For speakers of Standard English reading the printed options, Jou- by the umlaut rule is going to come out of the mouth as “Jujima” most of the time; this is plainly wrong for the actual phonetic value of his name. How one pronounces Jo- depends on your dialect region, but again for Standard speakers this is usually going to be a long o, and even most dialects are going to give somethime more like -ah-; these options are also plainly wrong. Joh- clearly prompts the reader to lengthen, and to a degree soften, the vowel, which gets closest to the actual phonetic value of the name. ‘Johjima’ _looks_ weird, because the strong tendency in contemporary printed English is to drop the silent ‘h,’ so we seldom see this combination, especially in the middle of a word. But from the standpoint of phonetic accuracy in transliteration, Johjima is the best compromise.

  48. jojo on November 23rd, 2005 2:42 am

    If Torrealba has no trade value, then did the Giants steal Winn? I wasnt around here to see the analysis last July.

  49. msb on November 23rd, 2005 8:22 am

    #146– always surprised me he’s stayed this long….

  50. eponymous coward on November 23rd, 2005 1:24 pm

    If you look at Jim’s link, you see that there are murmurs we’d pick up Larry Bigbie from COL in exchange for Torrealba. I wonder if he’d be the low-budget replacement for Jacque Jones for the money we spent on Johjima. He has the same type of R/L splits as Jones (in other words, not very useful against lefties and needs a rightie platoon partner), isn’t as good a hitter, isn’t as good a defender, not as good speed, but presumably would be cheaper and is younger.

    A Bigbie/Morse platoon in LF? Not so sure I’m crazy about that- but I have a suspicion if Bavasi’s talking about finances being impacted from Johjima, we may be looking at cheaper options to add a lefty bat.